Obama: North Korea Can't Manipulate Us Anymore

'Those days are over,' he says after meeting with South's new leader

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 7, 2013 2:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – North Korea can no longer generate major international incidents at will with nuclear provocations, Barack Obama said today, asserting the United States and South Korea are fully capable of defending themselves. "The days when North Korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions, those days are over," Obama said at the White House after meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The get-together marked the 60th anniversary of the US-South Korean alliance. Obama said that Pyongyang has failed to drive a wedge between the US and South Korea or to garner global respect with its threats. He said the joint US-South Korea meeting at the White House was evidence that the North has "failed again." The meeting also gives Park a chance to build a rapport with Obama, who enjoyed an unusually close bond with the previous South Korean leader, Lee Myung-bak.

South Korea President Park Geun-hye is escorted by Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington during a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery,May 6, 2013.   (Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Obama speaks during a news conference with South Korea President Park Geun-Hye in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Obama and South Korea President Park Geun-Hye at the end of a news conference in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Visiting South Korea President Park Geun-hye, lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 6, 2013.   (Manuel Balce Ceneta)
South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, accomapnied by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, addresses South Korean nationals at United Nations headquarters, Monday, May 6, 2013.   (Richard Drew)
President Obama and South Korea President Park Geun-Hye shake hands at the end of a news conference in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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